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Dave Holland is an NEA Jazz Master

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland's mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don't leave anything out?”play all of it,' “ Holland once told a radio interviewer. “That's become almost a mantra for me over the years,” he says, “as I've tried to find a way to build a vehicle which lets me utilize the full spectrum which includes the tradition, playing the blues and improvising freely. I love all that music, and there's been a desire to reconcile all those areas, to make them relevant, hopefully, in a contemporary context, as one music.”

Holland is not the only accomplished bassist in music, an instrument rich in authoritative figures like Charles Mingus and Scott LaFaro. But he's the only Dave Holland, and the vivid personal imprint he brings to the music performs stamps it with a sound that transcends any arbitrary descriptions of genre or format. He is a seminal figure in post-1960s jazz, but has never allowed his work to be limited by tradition.

This path has led him from the frontiers of free improvisation to his modern ensembles that fully embody Rivers' philosophy of “playing all of it.”

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Primary Instrument

Bass

Photos

Albums

Album Without Deception

Without Deception

Dare2 Records
2020

buy
Album Good Hope by Dave Holland

Good Hope

Edition Records
2019

buy
Album Zenith by Sam Rivers

Zenith

NoBusiness Records
2019

buy
Album Uncharted Territories by Dave Holland

Uncharted Territories

Dare2 Records
2018

buy
Album Aziza by Dave Holland

Aziza

Dare2 Records
2016

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Album Prism by Dave Holland

Prism

Dare2 Records
2013

buy
Pass It On

Pass It On

Dave Holland
Pass It On

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